VINCENNES — The Washington girls’ tennis team scratched and clawed for two and a half hours, but it just wasn¹’t enough.
Vincennes Rivet (6-9) defeated Washington 3-2 in the first round of Wednesday afternoon’s sectional at Vincennes Lincoln High School.
The match score was tied at two when the No. 3 singles match between Audrey Rodgers-Bonnie Hinkle went to a third set. Hinkle won a hotly contested first set, 7-5, but Rodgers gave her Hatchets teammates hope as they were reduced to spectators when she breezed through the second set 6-1.
In the third set, however, Rodgers seemed to be fighting uphill, and she just couldn’t catch a break.
Hinkle finished off the third set with a 6-4 victory to put the Patriots into the second round today against Washington Catholic at 5 p.m.
“I thought we played really well overall,” said Washington coach Kevin Stallman. “We knew it was going to be a close match, and we thought it might come down to No. 3 singles. I thought Audrey (Rodgers) played a great match. The other girl (Hinkle) played really well to, it just came down to that third set and we just couldn¹t get some of those big points.”
In No. 1 singles, Washington’s Brittany Pierson jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first set before Alyce Perry regrouped to to win the match in straight sets (6-3, 6-1). In No. 2 singles, Rivet’s Molly Webster dispatched Chelsee Brown 6-0, 6-2.
“They (Rivet) have two very good singles players, and overall we just weren’t able to match up,” Stallman said.
Stallman said he thought that while Rivet had an advantage at the top two singles matches, the Hatchets had an advantage in the doubles matches. The No. 1 doubles team of Audra Stallman-Rachel Chattin bested Brittney Webber-Brooke Hoke 6-2, 6-0. Stallman-Chattin advanced the regional Tuesday at Jasper.
At No. 2 doubles, Kayla Mercer-Rebecca Guthrie defeated Lauren Carrie-Allison Dong 6-4, 1-6, 6-0.
“Our No. 2 doubles came out and played a great third set, maybe their best set of the year,” Stallman said.
In his first year coaching the Hatchets, Stallman said he wasn’t sure if he would be back next year, but he was happy with that fact that the team improve significantly throughout the season.
“I was very appreciative with that attitudes and the effort that the girls showed every day,” Stallman said. “I thought they came every day and played hard, and they got a lot better. I really thought we were going to have a chance to win tonight and even this weekend, but that’s how it goes sometimes.”